Five years ago, RADIUS Church moved from Midway Elementary School to Main Street. When we moved into the old Ace Hardware building, the distinguishing factor of the facility was the front facade – a blend of bright white metal siding and off-white stucco. It was a great place to “hang our shingle” on Main Street. Certainly the most visible place to put our name that we’d ever had in the history of RADIUS Church.
Moving to Main Street felt a little like growing up. Our branding and logo even changed to all capital letters to show that we had taken a step up. While the reality has always been that the church is not defined by a location or bound to a building, having a place to call “home” – one that we had an opportunity to settle into and make our own – was a big deal for our young church.
At the time, our elder team spent a number of hours deciding whether or not to include the word “church” in the signage. Would adding the word church to the sign cause a subtle change in our identity to occur – one that would come from the building and not the people? Would we hinder our folks from being able to invite friends to join us on Sundays if we added church to our sign? Would our friends and neighbors around town not want to use our facilities if “church” was prominently displayed on the marquee? Ultimately, the decision was made to leave “church” out of the signage and it was a good decision.
Fast forward five years…
RADIUS Church has a great name in our community. Our good name is due in part to the good works that our partners accomplish day-in and day-out in our community – from coaching kids sports to sitting across the table from a couple struggling in their marriage and offering biblical truths with grace to inviting people from the neighborhood into our homes to share a meal – our church is defined by our people. We are not defined by our facilities. But our facilities are a big part of how our friends and neighbors interact with us.
We have the privilege of hosting hundreds of business people each month at various gatherings like the Lexington County Chamber of Commerce monthly breakfast. We are able to host family birthday parties and sport teams’ banquets and wedding receptions. Our facilities give us a unique ability to host our community. And playing host to them is an honor. But every time we play host to our community and they mistake us for a gym or a night club or just an event rental facility, we miss an opportunity to let them know that the primary use of our facilities is to play host to our church family and to push the Gospel forward in our community.
So, we changed our sign.
Our new signage now includes the word “church”. We will continue to not be defined by our facilities. We will continue to use our facilities to play host to our friends, neighbors and sports teams. We will continue to build great relationships around our tables and in our community. But we will also let everyone who drives past know that we are a church – that we are part of the body of Christ around the world.